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Chester around

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Meck Mwase

United States-based attacking midfielder, Yamikani Chester, will be the first foreign-based player to join Malawi national football team camp training for the back-to back Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against Burkina Faso.

Flames Coach Meck Mwase named a 23-member local squad which regrouped last Sunday at Mpira Village in Blantyre.

Mwase is expected to maintain the bulk of his foreign-based legion ahead of the two crucial matches.

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Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Competitions and Communications Director, Gomezgani Zakazaka, said Chester has been in the country after the conclusion of the United States League (USL) championship.

Zakazaka said they expect the former Be Forward Wanderers playmaker to join the squad any day within the week.

“Chester did not return to the United States after the match against Zimbabwe, so we expect him to join the squad after undergoing the required tests,” he said.

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Flames players have been undergoing coronavirus tests before commencing camp training in line with conditions that the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 instituted for sports to resume.

Chester said he expected to join the squad this weekend after undergoing a Covid-19 test Wednesday.

“I have been tested for coronavirus and if all goes well, I should join camp by Sunday. I am just waiting for the results,” he said.

The spiky-haired Las Vegas Lights FC player featured in the 1-0 loss to Zambia in an international friendly at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka and also in a goalless draw against Zimbabwe at Mpira Stadium last month.

The versatile attacker had a good season in his second year in the USL Championship having scored five goals.

In his 23-member local squad, Mwase included five new players in a move aimed at strengthening competition for positions in the team.

The five are Paul Ndhlovu of Mafco, Civo’s Nixon Mwase, Karonga United defender Lusekelo Malema, midfielder Lyod Njaliwa of Moyale Barracks and Silver Strikers forward Stain Davie.

Mwase is also likely to include Orlando Pirates striker Gabadinho Mhango, the Baroka duo of Richard Mbulu and Gerald Phiri Junior, FC Sheriff Tiraspol defender Charles Petro and Amazulu defender Limbikani Mzava.

Georgia-based Francisco Madinga could also be given a chance.

Both Mbulu and Mhango have started the 2020/21 DSTV Premier Soccer League season on a high as they scored in the opening games last weekend.

The Flames face Burkina Faso away in Ouagadougou on November 12 before hosting the Stallions five days later.

Malawi started the qualifying campaign with a 1-0 victory over South Sudan but lost 0-2 away to Uganda in Kampala in the second match.

The Flames are third in Group B of the Afcon qualifiers with three points from two games whereas Uganda and Burkina Faso are joint leaders with four points each.

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